“Dad’s making his rolls!”
This statement was (and is) enough to make my family drool in anticipation of dinner. Every holiday or special meal is incomplete without dad’s rolls. I was lucky to grow up in a household that appreciated good food, and what it means to make good food for your family. My dad was the resident chef, and he happily helped me make these rolls. It was enlightening to make them with him, since my attempts to recreate them had fallen short. Turns out he didn’t follow the recipe as written, and a few techniques made all the difference in light, fluffy rolls. These are based on the 1972 Betty Crocker “Golden Crescents,” with changes to that recipe since my dad stopped looking at the cookbook years ago.
What you need:
- 4 1/2 t. yeast
- 3/4 c. warm water
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 t. salt
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) salted butter, softened (plus extra for greasing pan)
- 4 c. bread flour
- stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
- large bowl
- kitchen towel
- rolling pin
- knife (I actually use a plastic lettuce knife that won’t damage my counter)
- baking sheet
Time: 3 hours total (30 minutes active, divided + 2 1/2 hours total rising time)
Freezeable: I regularly freeze bread products, but we eat all of these rolls within a few days.
Serves: Makes 16 rolls
Multiplying the recipe: Yes, I have doubled this recipe for a crowd. My dad regularly now HALVES the recipe if he is just cooking for a few people. The leftover rolls are, however, just as delicious.
Dissolve yeast in the warm water in the mixer bowl.
Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Add the other 2 cups of flour, and knead with the dough hook for 3-5 minutes. Do not add extra flour in this step. I used to knead it on a floured counter, and the extra flour gave the rolls a much more dense texture.
Place dough in an ungreased bowl, covered with a dry kitchen towel. Let rise for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
Grease baking sheet with butter.
Punch down dough. Divide it in two, and roll each section into a 15-18 inch circle on a clean counter. Do not add flour to the dough or the counter. Cut each circle into 8 equal wedges. Starting from the outside, roll each wedge into a crescent shape. Place rolls on prepared baking sheet, point side down.
Let rise, uncovered, for about 60 minutes. Rolls should be about doubled in size. Do not be afraid to re-position rolls on the baking sheet if they are getting too close together while rising.
Preheat oven to 400F. Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown.